Chest Pain From Hypermobility Responding to Physical Therapy in an Adolescent

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Abstract

Hypermobility syndrome usually causes pain in limbs from extension type injuries. The authors report on a 16-yr-old female adolescent with incapacitating chest pain secondary to extreme hypermobility of the chest. This pain led the patient to see multiple specialists without improvement or diagnosis. Physical examination results revealed a very hypermobile patient who was able to internally rotate her shoulders inward until her elbows touched. This unusual hyperextension maneuver was achieved by holding the shoulders in anteversion with her hands on her hips (see figures in the article). Currently, there is no literature reporting hypermobility as a cause for chronic chest pain. Pain medication including opioids did not reduce the patient's chronic chest pain. Specific physical therapy to strengthen core and chest wall muscles in addition to working on proper breathing techniques with the diaphragm decreased pain and resulted in a resolution of this condition. We report that hypermobility can cause significant chest pain and may require creative physical therapy to strengthen the specific musculature.

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